New things I read and new things I made during my digital declutter

I NEED TO SHARE ALL THE STUFF I DID WHEN I WASN’T BEING TECHY. Even though I spent a lot of it just observing how I spend my time and what I feel drawn to do (both in the good and bad sense), I also found myself exploring new recipes (one of my favorite things about meeting our daily, very human needs) and reading a bunch (even though I already had been reading a lot and even though I probably read a little too much IT STILL HORRIFIES ME TO SAY THAT). So I am going to be a little self-indulgent, a little self-congratulating, and post what I read and what I made on my digital declutter. Mostly, use this as an exhortation to read these books and get the NYT Cooking app so you can make these things. Your head and your tum (and your heart awwwwww) will thank you.

And because lists are made complete with ratings, here is my system:

* did not enjoy; do yourself a favor and skip it
** didn’t enjoy that much but I can see why some people do
*** enjoyed but won’t make/read again
**** this has staying power in my life and I will also recommend it widely
***** WHY ARE YOU NOT MAKING/READING THIS RIGHT NOW GO DO IT NOW

New things I read (in order of 5 star to 1 star)

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell *****

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley *****
Hunger by Roxane Gay *****
Space by James Michener *****
That All Shall Be Saved by David Bentley Hart ****
Dominicana by Angie Cruz ****
A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (ok, not new-to-me, but read nonetheless!) ****
Five Constraints for Predicting Behavior by Jerome Kagan ****
The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neurosciences, and the Secret World of Sleep by Dr. Guy Leschziner***
Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner ***
Digital Minimalism by Carl Newport **
Started but not finished: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and Camus’ The Plague

New things I made (in order of 5 star to 1 star)

Tomato-Poached Fish with Chile Oil and Herbs from NYT Cooking *****
Braised Chicken with Lemon and Olives from NYT Cooking *****

Claudia Roden’s Orange and Almond Cake from NYT Cooking *****
Tuna and Bean Salad from NYT Cooking *****
Carrot Cake Muffins (made thrice!) from NYT Cooking *****
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Hoisin Sauce from Carlsbad Cravings ****
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Winter Squash from NYT Cooking ****
Baked Mustard-Herb Chicken Legs from NYT Cooking ****
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart from NYT Cooking ****
Whole Wheat Yeasted Olive Oil Pastry for the tart ^ from NYT Cooking ****
Cobb Salad from NYT Cooking **** (add fresh rosemary to the vinaigrette!)
Homemade Chestnut Fettuccine with Sausage, Pumpkin, and Sage pasta sauce from ME! (recipe forthcoming) ****
Crisp Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter from NYT Cooking ***
Curried Shepherd’s Pie from NYT Cooking *** (how had my husband never had Shepherd’s Pie?! Also, I give this 4 stars if you double the spices like I did)
Focaccia from The Bread Bible ***
Old-Fashioned Beef Stew from NYT Cooking ***
Julia Child’s Herb Biscuits from Food.com **

Now go thee forth and make and read and eat! Maybe make a point to read and eat at the same time. Nothing pairs better than books and food, except maybe books and wine. (And in my case, food and my husband — there is nothing better than sharing a good meal with my favorite person. If you knew him, this might hold true for you, too!).

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